Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holy Mother Tithi Puja

You have not yet understood the wonderful significance of Mother's life — none of you. But gradually you will know. 
Without Shakti (Power) there is no regeneration for the world. Why is it that our country is the weakest and the most backward of all countries? — Because Shakti is held in dishonour there. Mother has been born to revive that wonderful Shakti in India; and making her the nucleus, once more will Gârgis and Maitreyis be born into the world. 

Dear brother, you understand little now, but by degrees you will come to know it all. Hence it is her Math that I want first. 
. . . Without the grace of Shakti nothing is to be accomplished... ...

... First Mother and Mother's daughters, then Father and Father's sons — can you understand this? . . . 
To me, Mother's grace is a hundred thousand times more valuable than Father's. Mother's grace, Mother's blessings are all paramount to me. . . . 
Please pardon me. I am a little bigoted there, as regards Mother.

   - Swami Vivekananda to Swami Shivananda in a letter

Monday, December 12, 2016

World is Gymnasium!

Let there be action without reaction; action is pleasant, all misery is reaction. The child puts its hand in the flame, that is pleasure; but when its system reacts, then comes the pain of burning. When we can stop that reaction, then we have nothing to fear. Control the brain and do not let it read the record; be the witness and do not react, only thus can you be happy. The happiest moments we ever know are when we entirely forget ourselves. Work of your own free will, not from duty. We have no duty. This world is just a gymnasium in which we play; our life is an eternal holiday.

                               - Swami Vivekananda

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Net Neti

Does seeing depend upon our own efforts or does it depend upon something outside? It depends upon ourselves; our efforts take off the dust, the mirror does not change. There is neither knower, knowing, nor known. 
"He who knows that he does not know, knows It." He who has a theory knows nothing.

The idea that we are bound is only an illusion.

Religion is not of this world; it is "heart-cleansing", and its effect on this world is secondary. Freedom is inseparable from the nature of the Atman. This is ever pure, ever perfect, ever unchangeable. This Atman you can never know. 
We can say nothing about the Atman but "not this, not this".

"Brahman is that which we can never drive out by any power of mind or imagination." (Shankara).

       - Swami Vivekananda

Saturday, November 19, 2016

We are Azad!

Fearlessness is not possible as long as we have even God over us; we must be God. 
What is disjoined will be for ever disjoined; if you are separate from God, then you can never be one with Him, and vice versa. If by virtue you are joined to God, when that ceases, disjunction will come. 
The junction is eternal, and virtue only helps to remove the veil. 

We are âzâd (free), we must realise it. 

"Whom the Self chooses" means we are the Self and choose ourselves.

               - Swami Vivekananda

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Desires are Poisonous

With all powers comes further misery, so kill desire. 
Getting any desire is like putting a stick into a nest of hornets. 
Vairâgya is finding out that desires are but gilded balls of poison.

          - Swami Vivekananda

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Go beyond Gunas

In order to be free we have to pass through vice to virtue, 
and then get rid of both. 

Tamas is to be conquered by Rajas, both are to be submerged in Sattva; then go beyond the three qualities. 

Reach a state where your very breathing is a prayer.

              - Swami Vivekananda

Friday, November 4, 2016

You are That already!

The  Vedas cannot show you Brahman, you are That already; they can only help to take away the veil that hides the truth from our eyes. 
The first veil to vanish is ignorance; and when that is gone, sin goes; next desire ceases, selfishness ends, and all misery disappears. 

This cessation of ignorance can only come when I know that God and I are one; in other words, identify yourself with Atman, not with human limitations. Dis-identify yourself with the body, and all pain will cease. 
This is the secret of healing. 

The universe is a case of hypnotisation; de-hypnotise yourself and cease to suffer.

                    - Swami Vivekananda

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Seek Highest

No  amount of ignorance or wrong ideas can put a barrier between the soul and God. 
Even if there be no God, still hold fast to love. 
It is better to die seeking a God than as a dog seeking only carrion. 

Choose the highest ideal, and give your life up to that. 
"Death being so certain, it is the highest thing to give up life for a great purpose."

                    - Swami Vivekananda

Monday, October 31, 2016

Philosophy and Devotion

The path of devotion is natural and pleasant. 

Philosophy is taking the mountain stream back to its force. It is a quicker method but very hard. 
Philosophy says, "Check everything." 

Devotion says, "Give up all to the stream, have eternal self-surrender." 
It is a longer way, but easier and happier.

    - Swami Vivekananda

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Religion - the Great Milch Cow!

Religion, the great milch cow, has given many kicks, but never mind, it gives a great deal of milk. 
The milkman does not mind the kick of the cow which gives much milk. 
Religion is the greatest child to be born, the great "moon of realisation"; let us feed it and help it grow, and it will become a giant.
                     - Swami Vivekananda

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Utility of Religion

...religion begins where philosophy ends. 
The "good of the world" will be that what is now superconscious for us will in ages to come be the conscious for all. 
Religion is therefore the highest work the world has; and because man has unconsciously felt this, he has clung through all the ages to the idea of religion.

               - Swami Vivekananda

Thursday, October 6, 2016

We are Infinite

Meditation is the arrow, the whole soul going out to God is the bow, which speeds the arrow to its mark, the Atman. 
As finite, we can never express the Infinite, but we are the Infinite. 
Knowing this we argue with no one.
                      - Swami Vivekananda

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Realize Brahman

Vedanta is necessary because neither reasoning nor books can show us God. He is only to be realized by superconscious perception, and Vedanta teaches how to attain that. 
You must get beyond personal God (Ishvara) and reach the Absolute Brahman. God is the perception of every being: He is all there is to he perceived. 

That which says "I" is Brahman, but although we, day and night, perceive Him; we do not know that we are perceiving Him. As soon as we become aware of this truth, all misery goes; so we must get knowledge of the truth. 
Reach unity; no more duality will come. But knowledge does not come by sacrifice, but by seeking, worshiping, knowing the Atman.
                - Swami Vivekananda

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Knowledge and not pleasure

The goal of mankind is knowledge. 
That is the one ideal placed before us by Eastern philosophy. Pleasure is not the goal of man, but knowledge. 
Pleasure and happiness come to an end. It is a mistake to suppose that pleasure is the goal. 
The cause of all the miseries we have in the world is that men foolishly think pleasure to be the ideal to strive for. 
After a time man finds that it is not happiness, but knowledge, towards which he is going, and that both pleasure and pain are great teachers, and that he learns as much from evil as from good.

                - Swami Vivekananda in Karma-Yoga 
                   (Classes in New York)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Children of Immortal Bliss

Is man a tiny boat in a tempest, raised one moment on the foamy crest of a billow and dashed down into a yawning chasm the next, rolling to and fro at the mercy of good and bad actions — a powerless, helpless wreck in an ever-raging, ever-rushing, uncompromising current of cause and effect; 
a little moth placed under the wheel of causation which rolls on crushing everything in its way and waits not for the widow's tears or the orphan's cry? 
The heart sinks at the idea, yet this is the law of Nature. 

Is there no hope? Is there no escape? — was the cry that went up from the bottom of the heart of despair. 
It reached the throne of mercy, and words of hope and consolation came down and inspired a Vedic sage, and he stood up before the world and in trumpet voice proclaimed the glad tidings: 
"Hear, ye children of immortal bliss! even ye that reside in higher spheres! I have found the Ancient One who is beyond all darkness, all delusion: knowing Him alone you shall be saved from death over again." 

"Children of immortal bliss" — what a sweet, what a hopeful name! Allow me to call you, brethren, by that sweet name — heirs of immortal bliss — yea, the Hindu refuses to call you sinners. Ye are the Children of God, the sharers of immortal bliss, holy and perfect beings. Ye divinities on earth — sinners! It is a sin to call a man so; it is a standing libel on human nature. 
Come up, O lions, and shake off the delusion that you are sheep; you are souls immortal, spirits free, blest and eternal; ye are not matter, ye are not bodies; matter is your servant, not you the servant of matter.

                       - Swami Vivekananda at Parliament of Religions

Saturday, September 17, 2016

One Source of Knowledge

Knowledge can never be created, it can only be discovered;
and every man who makes a great discovery is inspired. 
Only, when it is a spiritual truth he brings, we call him a prophet; and when it is on the physical plane, we call him a scientific man, and we attribute more importance to the former, although the source of all truth is one.

            - Swami Vivekananda

Friday, September 16, 2016

All-inclusive Hindu Religion

From the high spiritual flights of the 
Vedanta philosophy, of which the latest discoveries of science seem like echoes, to the low ideas of idolatry with its multifarious mythology, the agnosticism of the Buddhists, and the atheism of the Jains, each and all have a place in the Hindu's religion.

     - Swami Vivekananda 
       at Parliament of Religions

Monday, September 5, 2016

Japa and Ceremonials

Japa is repeating the Holy Name; through this the devotee rises to the Infinite. This boat of sacrifice and ceremonies is very frail, we need more than that to know Brahman, which alone is freedom. Liberty is nothing more than destruction of ignorance, and that can only go when we know Brahman. It is not necessary to go through all these ceremonials to reach the meaning of the Vedanta. Repeating Om is enough.
                                                 - Swami Vivekananda